In 2011, the economy of Belarus was, at best, completely dicked to hell, and at worst, one step short of a Soylent Green situation. Citizens were losing their homes and livelihoods, and tensions were high enough that the resident dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, had to do some quick thinking to ensure the crowds didn't get out of control.
Russian Federation via Wikipedia
"Not a bad idea, but let's try to think of something between 'do nothing' and 'steamrollers with bricks on the pedal.'"
The theory was that he needed to ensure the growing number of protests didn't get too worked up, lest they might begin to channel their fervor into counterproductive activities like shoving his head into a guillotine, so he enacted strict laws that limited the enthusiasm of the people during official speaking engagements. One of them was a complete blanket ban on applause.
Apparently, some smartass protestors in Belarus got it into their heads to use clapping as a form of protest against the government, so Lukashenko made it law that nobody could clap at anything, from a statement by the president down to a puppy doing something adorable on funny home videos. The only caveat was that people were permitted to applaud war veterans. But like, only between 2 and 4 on a weekday during a full moon, probably.
And only with the proper Veteran Gratitude Dispersal permit.
And he was serious about it -- when things got out of hand, so to speak, during one protest, Lukashenko's government cited its anti-clapping laws as an excuse to round up thousands of people who defied his authority by slamming their meaty flesh-paws together.
Hilariously, one of the men who was arrested for applauding was able to put forward a pretty good defense in court -- he only had one arm, so proving his guilt should have simultaneously answered the age-old riddle about the sound of one hand clapping. Unfortunately for him, this wasn't quite good enough, and he was given a full fine under the anti-clapping laws, possibly because he could have conceivably achieved the same effect by vigorously slapping himself in the face.
Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images
Though really, what do you expect when dealing with a dude that looks 65 percent like old-man Hitler.
When he's not slinging dick jokes, Dwayne interviews famous musicians like Les Claypool for Revue Magazine. You can see more of his work on his website.
For more governments that lost their shit, check out 5 Government Programs That Backfired Horrifically and 4 Crazy Land Claims Actually Recognized By the Government.
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